Smiths News PLC ('Smiths News'), the UK's leading wholesaler of newspapers, magazines and books, is pleased to announce its wholly owned book wholesaling business Bertram Books ('Bertrams'), has acquired Houtschild Internationale Boekhandel B.V. ('Houtschild') from Blackwell UK Ltd for a net consideration of €0.7 million satisfied in cash via its subsidiary Dawson Books Ltd ('Dawsons').
Houtschild, based in the Netherlands, is a leading supplier of books and journals into both academic libraries and Government Institutions across Northern Europe and is very well regarded by a loyal customer base. In the year ended 30 June 2011, Houtschild generated revenues of €4.9 million.
The acquisition provides additional scale, infrastructure and expertise as well as greater access to key customers and geographies which is consistent with our stated international expansion strategy. Webelieve the combination will deliver synergy benefits once the integration process is complete.
This acquisition will also further facilitate Dawsons' digital expansion outside of the UK. Its integrated offer of physical and digital books will be an important competitive differentiator in driving medium term sales growth in the region.
The transaction will be immediately earnings accretive. It demonstrates Smiths News' ability to grow organically whilst capitalising on strategic bolt-on opportunities and generating additional shareholder value.
Mark Cashmore, Chief Executive Officer of Smiths News PLC, said:
"We are delighted to have completed this acquisition, which is an excellent addition to our books business. Houtschild represents a clear international strategic step for Bertrams consistent with our stated aim. The Group will benefit from synergies, an increase in scale and a stronger sales presence in Northern Europe, as well as accelerating the digital platform roll out."
Smiths News PLC
Mark Cashmore, Group Chief Executive
Tel: 01793 563641
Nick Gresham, Chief Financial Officer
Jeremy Garcia / Gabriella Clinkard
Tel: 020 7466 5000
About Smiths News PLC:
Smiths News PLC comprises Smiths News, the UK's leading wholesaler of newspapers and magazines, Bertram Books, a leading UK book wholesaler and The Consortium, a leading independent distributor of consumable products to the education and care markets.
Smiths News distributes newspapers and magazines on behalf of all the major national publishers as well as a large number of regional publishers. The business serves approximately 30,000 customers across England and Wales, supplying large general retailers as well as smaller independent newsagents. Smiths News has an approximate 55% share of the newspaper and magazine wholesaling market in the UK. In addition to its distribution activities, Smiths News collects and processes returns, supplies sales information to publishers and provides a range of services for its retail customers.
Bertram Books supplies books to a mix of independent booksellers, on-line and multiple retailers, and libraries. Bertram has an approximate 45% share of the wholesale book market. In August 2011 the company acquired Dawson Holdings plc. The principal asset, Dawson Books is a leading supplier of academic books in the UK and internationally.
In April 2012 the company acquired The Consortium. The Consortium is the UK's leading distributor of educational and care consumable products servicing 25,000 customers. The business has a 6% market share in large and growing markets.
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